Saturday, February 04, 2012
"This Vegas has not been a major part of the political dialogue this week, as the candidates for the GOP presidential nomination visit the state. While he was in Nevada last fall, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who is far ahead in pre-caucus polls, said it would not be a good idea to "try to stop the foreclosure process. Let it run its course and hit the bottom."
Just participated in this program at UC Berkeley this week. It was a well-organized event with a large and attentive audience. Mildred Warner is a terrific speaker and I had a great time with the give and take.
From the UK: ""I can't believe we're going to be made homeless because of a toddler," Baylis told The Sun. "She's just being a toddler and has no idea how loud she's being."
Nexus Housing reportedly claims that Baylis has violated a contract that she signed agreeing to not run up the stairs, to prevent her dog from barking, and to cease to "use" her daughter as an excuse for noise that emanates from her apartment."
Fred Pilot sent this along.
"So far, 10 people have entered guilty pleas and have promised to testify against the big fish. In the near future, perhaps a matter of a few days, a dozen or more additional indictments and plea agreements involving mid-level targets are likely to surface. Once they are in place, the focus will shift to the top suspects who raked in millions of dollars."
Thanks to Shu Bartholomew for this link. This investigation has been going on since 2007, they say, and so far nobody has gone to jail. This may mean that those who pled out will testify against the higher-ups first, and then be sentenced. But how high will this go? The article mentions police officers and attorneys as possible targets of the investigation. Do we have the full picture of this massive, elaborate fraud yet? And when can we watch the TV movie?
Friday, February 03, 2012
After 40 years, Christiania (a car-less, drug-addled autonomous squatter town surprisingly located in middle of urban Copenhagen) will buy the land on which it sits from the Danish government. But how to raise the money? The alternative society is selling symbolic ownership shares, and will have yearly “shareholder parties” which will no doubt be intense
I think being an anarchist must be pretty tough. Even harder, though--running an anarchist organization. Or not running it, perhaps.
Wednesday, February 01, 2012
Falling homeownership — and prices — reflect the worst housing downturn since the Great Depression. And while there are signs that the housing industry's downturn may at least be nearing a bottom, the impact of the collapse will be evident for years to come, economists say.
"Nearing a bottom," they say. Maybe not. Mortgage interest rates are absurdly low and they have to go up to at least 6% at some point. When that happens, people will find it harder to buy houses because the cost of money will raise their monthly payments. When money is cheap, demand goes up and that drives prices up. When money is expensive, demand goes down and that drives prices...down. So I think that when mortgage interest rates go up, as they must, housing prices will go down.
And that will increase the financial pressure on home owners, who will see more of their equity disappear. That, in turn, will raise foreclosure rates, which will mean increased economic stress on condo associations and HOAs.
Monday, January 30, 2012
"Freddie Mac, the taxpayer-owned mortgage giant, has placed multibillion-dollar bets that pay off if homeowners stay trapped in expensive mortgages with interest rates well above current rates.
Freddie began increasing these bets dramatically in late 2010, the same time that the company was making it harder for homeowners to get out of such high-interest mortgages."
Gee. I wonder if there could be a connection between Freddie making it hard to refinance at lower rates, and Freddie selling mortgages and keeping only the income stream from the interest income?